BEST Of The Past

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BEST Single Decker Tram
Best Charabanc
Best Charabanc

Following Divya‘s post on how she misses her BEST buses in Bengaluru, I had to share these amazing photographs of the BEST of the days gone by. Few of us might know that BEST started out with trams, trolley cars, Charabancs and ferrys. BEST (Bombay Electric Supply and Transport Company) was originally The Bombay Tramway Company Limited, formally set up in 1873. After a contract was entered into between the Bombay Tramway Company and the Municipality, the Bombay Tramways Act, 1874, was passed, post which the Company was licensed to run a tramway service in the city.

BEST Trolley Bus or Double Decker Tram
BEST Trolley Bus or Double Decker Tram

Believe it or not, the the tram-cars were of two kinds—those drawn by one horse and those drawn by two. In 1905, The Bombay Electric Supply & Tramways Company Limited bought the Bombay Tramway Company and the first electrically operated tram-car appeared on Mumbai’s roads in 1907. With the increase in population and demand for public transport, double decker trams were introduced in 1920.

For most of the initial years, it is believed that the BEST was a luxury affordable only for the upper middle class in Mumbai. It was only years later with subsidies in place that the BEST became the common man’s public transport. Here are some rare photographs of those glorious days. All photos are courtesy BEST.

 

Post By Garima Sharma (111 Posts)

Founding Editor at MumbaiMag, graffiti and street art lover, traveller, blogger and amateur photographer, slave to Thor, my Lab.

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Garima Sharma

Garima Sharma
Founding Editor at MumbaiMag, graffiti and street art lover, traveller, blogger and amateur photographer, slave to Thor, my Lab.
  • romel

    nice article

  • Gimbels

    Yes, I do remember riding the trams. They were leisurely and clunky (made a clunk clunk sound.). Sometimes we would just go for a Sunday joyride to Dadar or Mahim where they ended. Yes, I’m a townie. Anything beyond Mahim was considered the boondocks – including Bandra. Haven’t you heard the song, “Bandra cha ranat tuka loving shikoyta.”